「竜頭蛇尾(先攻)」 (Ryuutoudabi (Senkou))
“In Like a Dragon, Out Like a Snake (Part 1)”
As the title mentions, this and the next episode focus on Snake and Dragon respectively. The backstory we get of the twins is a little simplistic compared to the other combatants with the brothers being violent thieves who find themselves resigned to their fate as the next ones up for the Zodiac Wars. One’s calm and collected, and the other is erratic and quick to jump the gun.
But the biggest revelation in the episode was the circumstance behind Snake’s death. It wasn’t a shocker, considering that Usagi really did cut off Snake’s head before the tournament even started. It does, however, explain how Shuryuu was able to rig the floor to collapse so that she can split everybody up. Usagi wearing clothes before he got to the main lobby would beg to question why he wanted to strip when he met up with the rest of the combatants, but that might not be too much of an issue depending on who you ask.
In present day, we get small tidbits about the ramifications of Usagi’s necromantist powers. He’s disappointed about Uuma for some reason and Snake’s zombified self is putting up more of a fight than anyone would’ve bargained for. The only other zombies that were out are Niwatori’s birds, Shuryuu, and Ino, but Ino is the only one who was successfully taken out of commission via Niwatori’s sky burial technique. No one else has taken out a zombie without nearly removing it from existence just yet, so seeing how Ushii uses fire against Snake to escape his chokehold might be neat to see unfold.
Tora is starting to show a higher level of significance in the plot as she takes on Snake, and seemingly has a grudge against Ushii as she goes out of her way to return to Snake for the express purpose of challenging him. Tora’s fight reveals that she has an iron stomach since it’s possible for her to gulp down the fuel stored inside of the flamethrower tanks since Snake used an alcohol-based fuel for his weapon. For the most part, I’m looking forward to seeing if Ushii and Tora are able to remain cordial as they fight Snake, and aren’t going to try and swipe at one another as they try to eradicate the zombie brother.